Heathdale flower 24th November 2022

Ordained Words!

Who is the best speaker you've ever heard and why? Jesus speaks with an authority that is unique and unlike any other in our world's history; His words come directly from God, because He is God!

Heathdale flower

Recently I had the good fortune to travel to The USA for a conference. As I sat on the plane getting ready for take-off, I decided to see what movies I could select from. As I skimmed through the list the movie, ‘The Darkest Hour’ seemed to pop out and say, “watch me.”

It’s a movie I have seen before and depicts the time during the Second World War when England looked like it would be invaded by the German forces. The central character, Sir Winston Churchill, was renowned for his passionate and inspiring speeches. As the movie was reaching its climax, Sir Winston delivered a soul-stirring speech that rallied the nation to continue the battle, even though it was against all odds.

If I were to ask you who was the best speaker you have ever heard, I wonder who you would nominate. There are so many to choose from, each having a different style and speaking into a specific context. As I pondered this further, it prompted me to think about famous speeches that I have heard. The first speech that jumped to mind was the speech given on the steps of the Parliament House on the 11th of November in 1975 by the dismissed Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam (just over 47 years ago to the day!) He concluded his speech with the now famous words, “may well we say, God save the Queen, because nothing is going to save the Governor General!”

Gough Whitlam was an eminent gifted speaker and one who was also very quick witted. Once in an interview, he was asked what sport he did during his school days. He replied with a twinkle in his eye, “rowing, and it’s the perfect sport for a politician, because you look one way but go the other!” Some people just have a natural gift with words.

Shortly after watching ‘The Darkest Hour’, I came across the following words that Jesus spoke and are recorded in the Bible.

"Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.

And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it."

And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for He was teaching them as One who had authority, and not as their scribes.”

(Matthew 7:26-29)

No one has ever spoken more astutely than Jesus. There have been many powerful and persuasive orators through the ages, but none have spoken with the sense of clarity and purpose like Jesus! People were and still are, centuries later, amazed at His teachings because He spoke with a unique sense of God’s authority.

He spoke the words of God as no one else did because Jesus spoke out of the fullness of God’s Spirit. It was not only about how Jesus spoke, but also what He spoke about. In John 6:63-68, it says that “He spoke words of eternal life.” In Mark 2:1-12, it demonstrates how Jesus spoke words of healing so that paralysed limbs were able to move. In John 5:25, He spoke about bringing life as His voice woke the dead.

Jesus’ words represented that He was the true Servant of the Lord and not a representative or a delegate who would just repeat the tired second-hand opinions of men, but give the first-hand testimony of God. And like the faithful servant He was, Jesus spoke only what the Father told Him to say. His uniqueness lay in passing on truth that was sparkling fresh because it came from the original source! Just like the sweet refreshing waters from a cool creek in the mountains, Jesus words are cool, soothing and refreshing to those who dare to listen.

Ours is a visual age and today we are saturated with images. As we allow images to direct our thinking, there is a growing mistrust of words; people no longer take one another on their word. Words cannot be seen but images can, so the reasoning is that images are more reliable than words. As we become immersed in this thinking, it is easy for us to slip into the mindset that demands that God should bend to our ideas of evidence. God is God and He could easily make images His main way of communicating, but His chosen form of communication was and still is His Word, which should be in the mouths of His servants.

You may recall when God called the prophet Jeremiah. He told him, “I have put my words into your mouth.” (Jeremiah 1:9) Imagine the impact the followers of Jesus could have on this world if each and every one were to speak the words God has placed in their mouths. The impact would be incredible. Words of life, courage, hope, reconciliation, love, mercy and justice would be commonplace. How our world needs to hear such words, to hear God’s words!

But as I contemplate this, I must also remember not to be too quick to be critical. I need to remind myself that God’s challenge also applies to hearers too! There’s little point in God putting His words into the mouths of His followers if those who have ears to hear do not hear!

My prayer for each of us is that God will help us to be a people who will want to have His words in our mouths. I pray that God, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, will show us how we can empty our mouths of our musings in order to be filled with God’s words and this will bring life, hope and love to those who hear these ordained words.


Ross Grace
Executive Principal